Four Great Pre-Dark Side Songs By Pink Floyd

Most music lovers own a copy of Pink Floyd’s classic 1973 album DARK SIDE OF THE MOON. It was undeniably the album that made them household names and all of the later albums released by them were also big hits.

I think what a lot of people don’t realize is just how much music the band released before DARK SIDE. There were seven albums and multiple singles before then.

Here are four of my favorites from that period:

“Summer ’68” is from the band’s 1970 album, ATOM HEART MOTHER. This one doesn’t sound much like what a lot of people would consider a “typical” Pink Floyd song. Some have even said that the layers of the vocal harmonies are similar to the sounds of The Beach Boys. It was written and sung by Richard Wright. I’ve always thought that Rick Wright was a little underrated as a singer and songwriter within the band and this is one of my favorites by him.

“Fearless” came from Floyd’s awesome 1971 album, MEDDLE. It was released as the B-side of the single for “One Of These Days” and was considered to be sort of an underground hit for the band. You can hear parts of “You’ll Never Walk Alone” by Rodgers & Hammerstein in this fantastic track.

“Free Four” is from one of my favorite albums by the band – OBSCURED BY CLOUDS from 1972. The song begins with a regular rock and roll count in, but the band members played with the regular words a bit and recorded them as “One, two, FREE FOUR!” It’s really a unique-sounding song. The music is very happy-sounding but the lyrics tell a somewhat cynical and depressing story. Don’t let that scare you, though. It’s a fun and fantastic song.

“Wot’s…Uh The Deal” is also from the OBSCURED BY CLOUDS album. I’ve always loved this song and I rank it in my Top Five Favorite Songs by the band. The video I’ve posted above is from a 2006 concert by David Gilmour. What’s awesome is that Richard Wright joined David for this tour and he can be seen and heard here in this wonderful performance of the song.

Now…go and do yourself a favor and listen to more stuff by Pink Floyd. You’ll be happy you did. 🙂

Have a fantastic day!

 

Four Great Songs You May Not Know From The 1980’s

Here’s some songs that you may not know from the 1980’s. None of these were huge hits on the radio at the time, but damn it, they should have been.

“What’s He Got” was a fantastic power pop song by The Producers. I’ve always said that these guys should have been hugely popular. Sadly, like a lot of acts, they kind of got screwed over by their record companies and they never got promoted the way they should have been. It’s a shame because they had a lot of awesome songs. I still frequently listen to their debut album from 1981, which this song came from.  The song never really got much airplay on the radio, but this video was in high rotation on MTV for a long time.

Want to hear a nearly flawless debut pop album? Then go and listen to PLAY DEEP, released by The Outfield in 1985. This was the first of four singles from it. It’s hard for me to pick a favorite song from that album, but this one is definitely in the running.

Tommy Shaw will probably always be best known for being in the band Styx, where he sang lead on such classic songs as “Renegade” and “Too Much Time On My Hands,” but he’s also had some very good solo music over the years. This is the title track from his great debut solo album in 1984 called GIRLS WITH GUNS. This song rocks!

“She’s Tight” came from Cheap Trick’s 1982 album, ONE ON ONE. This one was big on MTV, but it only made it to #65 on the U.S. charts, which always surprised me because it’s a great song. It’s also a very fun video. Enjoy!

 

Four Great Songs You May Not Know By The Beach Boys

It’s Summer, babies! Woo hoo!

The Beach Boys have always been one of my favorite groups and they are, undeniably, one of the ultimate Summer bands.

Most people know at least some of their songs, but the following tunes were never big hits on the radio, so you just might not know them.

Trust me. They’re awesome songs.

Let us begin…

This one is fairly new. “From There To Back Again” comes from their awesome 2012 reunion album, THAT’S WHY GOD MADE THE RADIO, which I’d personally rank as one of their best albums. This one has great lead vocals from Al Jardine and exceptional background vocals from the rest of the boys. I loved it from the first time I heard it.

“Goin’ On” is my favorite from their 1980 album, KEEPIN’ THE SUMMER ALIVE. I love, love, love singing along to this one. This one was released as a single but it didn’t go too far on the charts. Too bad. I think it’s definitely one of their best later songs.

“Mona” comes from the 1977 album, LOVE YOU, which is really an interesting album. Some people consider it almost a Brian Wilson solo album since Brian was fully back with the group after not being very involved with them and he pretty much took total control here with the writing, vocals, production, etc.

Some fans think it’s one of their best albums ever. Some think it’s one of their worst.

Personally, I lean towards thinking it’s one of their best.

“Mona” is a great throwback and tribute to the kinds of songs from the 1960’s that Brian loved so much. Brian LOVED the music of Phil Spector and you can totally here it here. He even mentions Spector in it. Fun, fun song.

“All This Is That” comes from The Beach Boys’ 1972 album, CARL AND THE PASSIONS – SO TOUGH. This song was heavily influenced by transcendental meditation, which Mike Love and some of the other band members were heavily into at the time. Kind of a “hippie song,” in that regard, I suppose, but I totally love it.

I love closing my eyes and listening to this one. Very peaceful. Plus, it’s also fun to sing along with. As always, the vocals by the guys are awesome.

Have a great Summer.  🙂

 

Three Great Songs You May Not Know By Asia

Asia has been one of my favorite bands since their self-titled debut album came out in 1982. The group was often labeled as a “super group” because of the bands that its members had previously been with. Guitarist Steve Howe had been in Yes, keyboardist Geoff Downes had been in both The Buggles and Yes, lead vocalist and bass player John Wetton had been in King Crimson, and drummer Carl Palmer had been in Emerson, Lake, and Palmer.

The ASIA album was fantastic and one of the biggest hit albums of the 1980’s.  It contained  two of their biggest hit songs: “Heat Of The Moment” and “Only Time Will Tell.”

They’ve had some other very popular songs since then, but here are three fantastic songs by them that you may not know.

“Wishing” is from their great third album, ASTRA. By this time, guitarist Steve Howe had left the band and was briefly replaced by guitarist Mandy Meyer. As far as I know, this song wasn’t ever released as a single, but I really wish it had been. I think it could have been a big hit for them.

After the above mentioned ASTRA album, Asia broke up for awhile . They later reformed and went through a lot of lineup changes over the years. None of those lineups included all four of the original members until 2006 when the originals reformed and released the awesome album, PHOENIX.

PHOENIX  is loaded with fantastic songs, but “Alibis” has always been my favorite from it. Here’s why:

The music in it is FANTASTIC! (Warning: I’m about to get incredibly geeky.) At the 1:12 time mark in the song, you hear Geoff Downes do a great keyboard solo, then the song switches back to vocals. Then comes my favorite part from 1:45 – 2:12: Steve Howe doing an amazing guitar solo while Carl Palmer does incredible drumming.

I’m not kidding here. The music from 1:12 – 2:12 totally gives me an eargasm!  The whole song is great, but that one single minute is one of my favorite minutes ever in music.

“An Extraordinary Life” is also from the PHOENIX album. Very inspirational lyrics in this one. This song always leave me feeling not only optimistic about the future, but also happier about the present.

Life throws a lot of bad things our way, but no matter what, it’s good for us to try to remember that life truly is extraordinary.

So, my friends, I hope you enjoy these songs and I hope you have a fantastic day…and an extraordinary life!  🙂

P.S. – I just recently added new videos here on the site for the most recent episodes of Buddy’s Writing Show, Walking Buddy, and Sunday Night Fiction Club. If you’d like to check them out, well, they’re there.  🙂

 

Three Great Songs You May Not Know From The Monkees

The first group I really got into when I was a kid was The Monkees. I loved them then and I love them just as much now.

Everyone knows “I’m A Believer” and “Last Train To Clarksville” and many of their other big hits, but here are a few far less popular songs by them that you may not know. I think each of these songs is great.

“Come On In” is a rarity by the group that was never released when they were together. It showed up decades later on the fantastic rarities release called MISSING LINKS: VOLUME TWO. Another thing kind of rare about this song is that the lead vocals are done by Peter Tork. He did a few songs here and there with the group, but they were few and far between on the albums. This is one of my favorites that he sings.

“Don’t Call On Me” is a song I’m crazy about by Michael Nesmith. Most of his stuff with the group had sort of a country sound to it and those songs were quite awesome.  This one is totally not  country but still awesome. I think I heard it described once as “lounge music.” I love it!  P.S. – This one is from their fantastic album PISCES, AQUARIAUS, CAPRICORN, & JONES LTD.

“Someday Man” is another rare one that was originally released as the B-side of The Monkees’ “Listen To The Band” single. This one was written by legendary songwriter Paul Williams and it features the late, great Davy Jones on lead vocals. I love “Listen To The Band,” but I kind of wish this one had been the A-side of that single. I think it could have been a big hit for them.

Have a great week, my friends! I’ll be back with another musical posting next Monday.  🙂